G-Poppers … March 25th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop awoke with a whirl of conflicting ideas swirling in his mind, trying to find a landing space in understanding.

Good Friday.

What a joke.

Especially when you consider that the religious fanaticism which killed the Prince of Peace 2,000 years ago is still alive and insane, bombarding the innocent in Brussels.

Why do we kill?

Some people blame firearms. Yet we succeeded very ably in snuffing out human life long before there was gun powder.

Maybe it’s due to intolerance for other cultures and religions. But even in countries where there is no religion and very little culture, they kill off what they consider to be abnormal.

G-Pop decided that the next time he got together with his children, he would tell them that the reason we kill is because we are on a foolish journey to find the “best.”

It’s why Americans murder at a higher rate than Canadians. Canadian children are not taught that they always have to be supreme. American offspring are informed that they must always come off as the best.

There are only three things that can make you the best:

  • Work hard and have some luck
  • Cheat
  • Lie

As you can see, two of the three are quite unacceptable–because after we get tired of working, we decide that deceiving people about our prowess is equally as effective as long as we don’t get caught. Or we may choose to lie about our competitors and cast them into darkness, portraying them as sinister.

It is a screwed up system.

G-Pop wants his children to know that it is a beautiful thing to chase “good” and “better,” but to always leave “best” alone.

So what is good?

Make things and bless things

Not just people–but your car, your job, your garage, and Mother Earth. Make things and bless things. You could stop right there and have a fulfilling life. Making things keeps you busy and blessing things keeps you happy.

If you still have extra time you’d like to fill, consider “better.”

Better is working within yourself. Cease comparing your efforts to others. Stop trying to advertise your fruit. Live your talent within yourself–you being your most intelligent encourager and critic.

To be happy, continue on that path and ignore the best. After all, the best is not decided by you–it is a fickle passing of the torch by fans who think they have found the next fabulous thing.

To ignore the best is to be grateful and content. What is considered the best is beyond our control, and certainly subject to the blowing winds of opinion.

2,000 years ago, people climbed a hill–not so they could see better or take in the view. They did so because something good had come their way–something that brought better ideas–a human being who insisted that those who would follow would do greater things than him.

This made them lethal because they were being threatened … by losing their status as the best.

 

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The Alphabet of Us: D is for Despair… December 29, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Building Block D bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

DESolate. “I got nothing.”

PARalyzed. “I can’t move.”

Despair is when these two come together and we are convinced that our situation is unchangeable.

It is also a miscalculation–allowing the emotions and the brain to wage war with one another instead of consulting the wisdom of the soul and using the body to do something to improve our surroundings.

I believe it occurs in the human family because we get three things out of whack:

  • God scares us
  • Mother Nature confuses us
  • And people piss us off

When this occurs, the only reaction that seems logical to us is to relive our defeats.

So first, let’s get these three things straight:

  • God is our Father. In other words, He’s stuck with us. Nothing can separate us from His love.
  • Mother Nature is a system that can be learned. Yet she has no favorites.
  • And people are inconsistent and must be handled with a good sense of humor.

Without this, we quickly lose sight of any goal motivation and resolutely determine to lick our wounds in some corner of our mind or cave of our emotions.

Here are two very important precepts that just happen to be true–at least from the perspective of my journey:

1. Nothing is personal.

The rain that falls from the sky wasn’t sent from some dark place in hell to taint your picnic. If you had checked the weather forecast two days earlier, or even the sky, you might have had an inkling of what was coming down.

2. When it is personal, it is nothing.

You should rejoice. Why? Because anyone who takes out a vendetta against you will soon lose interest. The only way to keep anyone intrigued in bullying you is to give them focus by being angry or upset. With the 24-hour news cycle, the attention span of our country has gone down to about twenty-four hours.

So as long as you understand that nothing is personal, and on those rare occasions that it is personal, it is nothing, you can allow your soul to give you patience and wisdom to survive some disappointment–which gives your brain the chance to come up with a plan on what to do next.

Despair is not merely self-pity–it is a self-pity cemented by a lack of understanding of how life really works. 

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Trinity to the Third Power … September 29, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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A Father who loves us.Circleville

A son who is our elder brother, to explain things in “people terms.”

And a Holy Spirit, to remind us about good things–and forgive us when we slip-slide away into the bad.

It’s a great system … unless you happen to teach that the father in question is really an abusive step-dad who hates you because you aren’t his kid. Or that the son is a jealous older brother, who constantly reminds you of the sacrifices he’s made for you. Or that Holy Spirit follows you around, critical of your every move, reminding you of only one thing–your inadequacy.

I guess it’s all how you teach it, right? Or maybe it’s how you view it.

I would not be interested in a God who was not my Father. As my Father, I ask Him to take responsibility for His part in creating me.

I would not be interested in a Jesus who was a son who suffered from a persecution complex and hung around the cross all day, just to punctuate the point about his martyrdom.

And I really cannot be interested in a Holy Spirit that IS more of a ghost sent to scare us away from a devil’s hell.

I go to Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville, Ohio, tomorrow morning. I’ll be curious to see if they use the trinity to its third power–or if they have drained the juice and merely have a trinity by name.

But I will tell them about a loving Father, a friend who sticks closer than a brother and a Spirit that gives us wisdom in our hour of need.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll be interested.

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You’re Not Ugly… January 7, 2012

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We made a mistake. We do that every once in a while … just to maintain an obvious profile of needful humility.

On Thursday night we told two ladies where we were going to be on Friday night, but unfortunately, the information we gave to them was incorrect. And also, the starting time of the event was actually a half-an-hour earlier. We didn’t do this to be mean or evasive–we did this because it was our time to establish our quorum of stupidity. When we returned to our motel room we realized our error, but it was too late because we didn’t know who the ladies were or how to get ahold of them.

Move ahead to Friday evening. I was about half-way through our program, in front of the delightful and inspiring folks of Port Charlotte, Florida, when in walked those two charming women whom we had accidently misled. Even though I was singing a song at the time, I had to chuckle in my spirit. I started thinking about what these two individuals had gone through to actually find out where we were, arrive and come through those back doors. First they went to the wrong church, sat in a dark parking lot, coming to the conclusion that this must not be the place. Then, checking all of their GPS information, they came up with the correct location, only to arrive and find that the program had already begun because we told them the wrong time. What remarkable human beings.

So after the program, when I was at my book table, they came up and were so gracious about the whole event that it nearly brought tears to my eyes. As they were about to leave, one of the pair whispered across the table to me.

“And by the way … you’re not ugly.”

Now that might seem like a strange statement unless you understand that in my program I make it clear to the audience that I am not a physically attractive person and being beautiful is not my aspiration. I’ve never had any problem with that. Actually, I’m quite amused with desperate candidates who are always trying to win the beauty contest of life. I work on my love of people, my talent and my flexibility much more than I do my appearance. I’m not ugly–I’m just homely. “Homely” is about two fewer bumps and bruises from ugly, and about a mile and a half down the road from good-looking.

It has actually done me well. For in my case, all the Monica Lewinsky‘s I have encountered have actually wanted to be an intern to my ministry and business–to learn what I know instead of desiring to give me a personal “inter-office memo.” You see, that’s good stuff. (One of the easier ways to avoid sexual misconduct is to be a whole lot less sexually attractive. Then you never have to find out if you’d actually slip-slide away…)

So when she said that to me–“you’re not ugly”–I laughed. She was so sweet and gentle, but it just doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me. What did register on my awareness scale was her and her friend–making such a noble effort to reconnect with us and spend a few more minutes together before our earth passages end.

Don’t give up on humanity. You may feel free to turn your back on organizations and those who have incorporated their ideas into a cement block–but don’t ever give up on people. For I will tell you two certain things right now: (1) Never over-estimate the willingness of any system to actually adapt to what needs to be done; and (2) never underestimate the power of an individual (or in this case, two) who want to overcome the dorkiness of a system.

There you go. Oh, and I thought of a third one:

By the way … you’re not ugly.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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